Everybody's All-American (1988)
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In a nutshell, it's about an ex-college football star who doesn't know what to do when his playing days are over and nobody is cheering him anymore.
To me, on the negative side were the melodramatic clichés of the typical (for movies) unhappy marriage (a Louisiana State University football star and its Homecoming Queen ), the standard (for movies) adulterous affairs, the normal (for movies) lectures about race and in particular, the South; the tale of real and not-so-real friends, the predictable getting-back together routine, blah, blah, blah. Add in some fake Southern accents, too.
On the more positive side, Dennis Quaid plays "Gavin Grey" of the title role. The story concentrates mostly on the downside of his life, picking up 20 years later when he's not so famous anymore and a life of gridiron fame never materialized after a promising start. The sad thing is, there are real-life stories like this, probably more than we know. So, I am not knocking the film for its story. Many college and professional athletes go into "the real world" unprepared, just as many beautiful Homecoming Queens are unprepared for life because their fabulous looks - not their personality or character - opened a lot doors for them.
"Grey" winding up telling old sports glory stories to drunks at a restaurant is the same as Jake LaMotta doing it in "Raging Bull" and "Rocky Balboa" doing the same in Sylvester Stallone's recent role.
Jessica Lange plays the ditzy Homecoming queen who bears four kids and then becomes a good businesswomen. She isn't the most faithful, loving wife. And, at 39 years of age when she made the film, a little too old to be playing a college kid.
Quaid and Lange, though, are fine in their performances, but supporting actors John Goodman and Timothy Hutton were the most interesting, in my humble opinion.
Overall, so-so as a sports-soap opera. It's not a film I have ever been interested in viewing a second time.
bomb when it was released in '88 but I consider it one of the best films in recent years and one of the best sports movies of all time.
Gavin Grey is a '50s LSU football star who has few interests or talents off the field. He's seen as a shallow. but basiclly decent, product of the 1950s south. He's under no illusion about the fleeting nature of his fame, and the movie avoided the usual cliche of protraying him as a bigoted simpleton or a sanctimonious do-gooder. It takes you through his pro career with the Redskins, a humiliating stint with the Denver Broncos when he's way past his prime, and the final heartbreaking episode with his 1955 teammates at LSU Tiger stadium. In the meantime wife Jessica Lange has found unknown talents as a businesswoman, adding to the pathos of Grey's status as a has-been. Dennis Quaid is superb as Grey, especially when showing him as a middle-aged ex-jock.
Everybdy's All American? Everybody connected with this project should be congratulated. I'd like to think that, someday, this film will get the credit it deserves.
Jessica Lange's performance is unparalleled (as usual). I would recommend this film to everyone.